For most of us, 2020 did not hold in store what we had planned. No one could have predicted the crazy world in which we are living now. It seems a new digital era has emerged and with it we are seeing some great new design trends. In the midst of turmoil the internet, especially online meeting platforms, have been our saviour. 
Many businesses rushed to take their offer online in a bid to keep trading. 2021 is the year to take your business online if it isn’t already, or bring your website bang up to date if you’re already selling your services or wares on the web. 
 
As we look forward to 2021 the design trends set to be big are refreshingly simple. With a rather forceful nudge, even the most reluctant user finds themself using the internet. The golden rule of website design is of course enhanced user experience. 2021 will see designers taking this to a new level to offer visitors a somewhat immersive experience.  
 
The key trends to look out for are: 
 
 

1. Easy on the eye 

Time spent on devices has increased rapidly, especially over the last year. As such this can have a very negative impact on the eyes and general wellbeing. Internet fatigue is real and can cause sore, itchy, or dry eyes and headaches. In 2021, website designers will be more mindful of the user’s comfort and choosing a palette that is easy on the eye. 
 
We expect to see lots of muted pastel shades which are not only visually pleasing but also calming. Choosing the right colours for a website or brand is never something that should be overlooked. Colour is a very powerful tool for triggering certain emotions. Look out for lots of peaceful greens, pale purples, and soothing blues. Putting the user’s wellbeing first is a welcome trend set to expand throughout thoughtful web design. 
 

2. Minimalist design 

“A style that has been around for a few years and is set to continue in 2021. Simple typography, limited colour palette and easy navigation. Topped off with beautiful photography. Some think it’s too simple or under-designed but most good designers know how to strike the right balance.” - Kevin Woods, Design Director, it’seeze. 
 
Minimalist design says it all without fuss and gimmicks. The message is clear with no distractions, navigation is effortless, and the design visually pleasing. In the year when we are seeing the emergence of ease of use, user friendliness, and accessibility; you can’t go far wrong with a stunningly simple minimalist design. 
 

3. Accessible design 

Some organisations have a legal obligation to make their website accessible - for example, those in the public sector such as parish councils. However, making websites accessible to everyone is something that will be commonplace in 2021 for the private sector too. 
 
Removing barriers for individuals with visual, motor, auditory, speech or cognitive disabilities will be a key focus. Accessible websites reap many rewards in addition parallto diversity and their best practices are said to actually increase visibility and Google rankings. 
 
David Feldman of @Forbes states that “accessible websites create more benefits for more people. They’re an investment in the greater good that will also help your business grow”. 
 

4. Going dark 

A trend that has been around for many years and is going nowhere. However, a dark website isn’t for everyone. A dark website can be visually stunning when designed correctly, and for the right industry a black website pops off the screen and oozes sophistication.  
 
In addition to its aesthetics, a dark website also boasts good readability. Avoiding the temptation to opt for the stark contrast of white for bodies of text instead choosing grey will ensure users have a comfortable experience. Don’t forget point 3 above - It’s about getting the right balance between usability and accessibility. 
 
The boldness of a black website design speaks for itself. There is no need to overload and distract with too much going on. The simplicity of the website will enhance the user experience and tick all of the design best practice boxes. 
 

5. Immersive user experience 

Augmented reality (AR) is set to change the face of retail. Once something synonymous with sci-fi, AR is now commonplace. AR in ecommerce is empowering customers to try before they buy or even in some cases customise their product.  
 
As we continue to live under some form of lockdown, simply browsing in stores is becoming less appealing. AR creates a fully immersive experience for the consumer to get a feel for a product before purchasing. Confidence and peace of mind that they are happy with their choice will convert browsers to buyers. 
 

6. Parallax effect 

In physics, “parallax is the apparent displacement of an object because of a change in the observer's point of view.” - Las Cumbras Observatory
 
Visually, parallax happens constantly in day-to-day life, for example in a moving vehicle. 
 
Digital designers have mimicked this everyday phenomenon with parallax effects that enhance website design. This beautiful, yet surreal visual encourages user interaction and is employed through parallax animation and parallax scrolling. The use of parallax scrolling naturally encourages the user to journey below the fold, thus decreasing bounce rates. There is no surprise that this design style is set to continue to be a hot trend throughout 2021. 
 

7. Geometric design 

In the digital world competition is fierce. An attention-grabbing website is crucial if you want to stand out from your competitors. An intriguing design that will do just that is geometric design. The use of abstract shapes creates an interesting way to display your message. 
 
Steve Vosper, Design Manager here at it’seeze explains this attractive design technique: "Let grids and shapes on the page shape the design style. Rectangles, squares, triangles as well as diagonal shapes can make a site more interesting. This is not easy to do and can go badly wrong if designed poorly, but done well this can make a site stand out from the typical full width and two column approach." 
 
 
Creative web design is our forte, and we’re excited to see what 2021 brings. Our designers are always ready and willing to implement the latest trends and design stunning websites that showcase your brand and get results.  
 
If your website needs bringing into 2021, get in touch to find out more about our affordable web design services. We will create a powerful, state-of-the-art website that delivers a great user experience to see you through 2021 and beyond. 
 
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